Q: Why the name “Black Duck Farm”?
A: The Quenneville family coat of arms has 2 stars and a single black duck. We felt it was fitting – plus we love ducks!
Q: So does that mean you produce duck products too?
A: Not yet. It’s in the plans, however, I want to place large water earthworks on my land to provide the water access ducks need first. Perhaps in 2021. We introduced turkeys in 2018, flowers in 2020. So ducks are probably in the works for the next 2 years
Q: Are you organic?
A: Not yet. We use certified organic feed, but haven’t gone through the process of certifying yet.
Everything else about the raising of these chickens follows organic practices – sometimes even exceeds them! They are outside on pasture from roughly 21 days of age, they receive no growth hormones or antibiotics, they experience lazy sunny afternoons in the grass, and receive at the very least 10 square feet of space per chicken, which is the organic standard. I also refuse to order sexed chicks sent from the hatchery, as it gives me the opportunity to provide a wide range of sizes for the discerning customer.
I am quite open to pursuing organic certification in the future, but it is not in the immediate works. Probably start the process in 2021. In the meantime, I am working on “farm efficiency” to reduce costs so I can pass it on to you, the customer. For example, in 2020, we are switching to a locally mixed and prepared feed, which should greatly reduce our feed costs
Q: Why do you have a different name on facebook and instagram?
A: At first I started this farm under the name Glen Norman Permaculture, but then realized it needed a marketing change. For example, not many people know what permaculture is!
Permaculture is a design science based on natural patterns to create systems of support for humans. Basically, watch nature, and imitate it. The movement started in the early 80’s in Australia, and has certified designers – like me – all over the world, creating positive changes in our communities.
And so, while the names and accounts were already set up, I saw this as an opportunity to share the message and ideals of Permaculture to the world.
Q: What breeds do you raise?
A: For the chickens, we currently raise exclusively Cornish Cross birds. We did use heritage birds in the past but they were not profitable for us in the long run.
For turkeys, we raise Broad-breasted Whites, and are introducing Orlopp Bronzes in 2020.
Q: Do you do any eggs?
A: We do not as of yet, mostly due to an infrastructure problem. The plan is to introduce them in the future… And in the meantime, I’m accumulating equipment for that enterprise.
Q: What about other animals?
A: We started with chickens in 2016, added turkeys in 2018, and now in 2020 we are adding a few ruminants. The beef won’t be for sale, but their help on the farm will be priceless. More on that in another post.